Denver Deal: January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month

I grew up in Steamboat. And yes, we had skiing as our gym class in elementary school. After I had my kiddos I had not gone skiing in a long time mostly due to cost and I wasn’t sure if my kids would love it. Then when my son got his free pass in 5th Grade (back then there was not the Vail Epic School Kids offering it to Kindergartners) – he challenged me to learn snowboarding. The first time was not pretty (I could not figure out how to stop the stupid thing and was toted to the bottom of the ski area strapped to a sled provided by the lovely mountain staff). After that, I did get a lesson (on a cheap deal in January since it is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month) and the rest is sort of family history. I love snowboarding. I can’t wait to go every year! It is great fun with the family and yes, you can even get DEALS to do it. If you’ve never been….start now!

Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. We will continue to update you as we learn about great deals for Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month but here are a few to get you started.

  • Arapahoe Basin – Arapahoe Basin Ski Area’s Super Sunday lessons are morning, half-day only (2.5 hours) and include a lift ticket. Adults (ages 15+) are $80 and children (ages 3-14) are $100. Equipment rentals are not included but guests can find alpine ski and snowboard rentals on-site at the Arapahoe Basin rental shop. Super Sunday lessons are available January 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 as well as Friday, January 8 as Arapahoe Basin participates in the World’s Largest Lesson. For more information,
  • Aspen/Snowmass + Limelight Hotel – New this year at the Limelight Hotel, the property introduces the Beginner Incentive Package that will make any newbie to the sport a skier for life. Offered in conjunction with the Aspen Snowmass Ski & Snowboard Schools, the package includes three full days of adult beginner lessons and four nights at the Limelight Hotel. Daily lunch is included in the experience, and the property’s local guides will escort skiers and riders to the slopes each day. Ski or Snowboard boot rentals, skis, snowboards and helmets are included. Guests also have the option to rent goggles, gloves, jackets and outerwear upon arrival from local retail partners.The package is valid during Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month from Jan. 2-17, 2016. Pricing for this all-inclusive package starts at $1,778 per person. Book now by or calling (844) 854-3387.
  • Copper Mountain – Copper announces Ski and Ride School University: No More Excuses for Winter Sport Never-Evers. Inspired by National Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month, Ski and Ride School U offers newbies aged 18 and older a hassle-free and affordable option to catch the winter bug. For $199 the package includes:Three ski or snowboard lessons, Lift tickets, Equipment rentals, Close-in parking, Lunch on the 2nd and 3rd day. Plus, upon graduation and completion of the third lesson, Copper will award participants a free season pass so guests can progress further on the slopes for the remainder of the winter. Quantities are limited and the package must be purchased in person at Copper Mountain. For more information, please
  • Eldora – Eldora Mountain Resort (EMR) is offering the Mountain Explorer Children’s Learn to Ski and Snowboard Package for $129. The day package includes an all mountain lift ticket, all day rental, and all day lesson, with snacks and lunch. Reservations are recommended; visit for more information. For adults, EMR is offering the EASY 1-2-3 for $129. The day package includes one day of lower mountain lift access, all day equipment rental and 3.5 hour lesson (2 hours AM and 1.5 hours PM). Visit for more information.
  • Loveland – All children (ages 4-14) regardless of ability who pre-purchase or complete 3 full day lesson packages receive a free, unrestricted season pass to keep practicing their skiing or snowboarding skills for the rest of the season. Children’s full day lesson packages include lesson, lift access, rentals (ski or snowboard) and lunch.  Full day lessons are from 10am through 3:30pm daily. Phone reservations are available or guests can register at the Loveland Valley between 8am and 9am. Participants who pre-purchase can enjoy the season pass all winter long. Pre-purchase price is $336 for ages 6-14 skiers & snowboarders (Includes Season Pass); $360 for ages 4-5 skiers (Includes Season Pass & early drop off)
  • Monarch – Kids ages 7 and up who have never been skiing or riding before, get the package including an all-day lift ticket, a ski or snowboard rental, a helmet rental, and a 4-hour group lesson for just $139. Plus, take the lesson package between the dates specified you will receive a free lift ticket for your next visit this season! Book the lesson on their website, (
  • Crested Butte – During the month of January, first time skiers and riders, ages 15 and older can sign up for a first time beginner adventure lesson with the Crested Butte Ski + Ride School fro $79. This package includes full-day ski or snowboard lesson, full day adult lift ticket (valid for limited lift access on the day of the lesson) and 1/ off a single-day equipment rental package. (Expires 1/31/2016).
  • Steamboat – Guests at Steamboat can build confidence while they learn in a safe, controlled, terrain-based environment with instructors that guide them every step of the way. Steamboat’s Learn to Ski/Ride Package opens the slopes with two days of lessons, rentals and lift tickets for just $199 from Jan. 4-31. Learn to Ski/Ride is available for adults and children ages 1st Grade and older. For more information, or call 800.299.5017.
  • Sunlight – Skier Appreciation Day at Sunlight (January 8) offers $20 lift tickets to all skiers and snowboarders with 100 percent of the proceeds being donated to the United Way of Garfield County. In addition, on January 10 Sunlight will host Student/Teacher Appreciation Day, with $20 lift tickets for students and free lift tickets for teachers.
  • If you got the Vail Epic School Kids, use your free lesson and equipment rental this month. Call to your favorite resort (Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, or Keystone) to make your reservation.
  • Winter Park – Winter Park Ski + Ride School’s multi-week Fish Programs can accommodate children from age 3 to 14. With the 7 week Piranhas Program, 5 week Barracudas Program, or the 3 week Minnows Program, kids will have a blast while making new friends, and developing new skills on the slopes. Groups are broken down by age and ability level, from beginner to expert. Programs include instruction from the same coach each week, GPS tracking, and lunch. Programs for the month of January begin at $259 and may be reserved here:
  • Wolf Creek – Wolf Creek Ski Area offers a variety of ski and snowboard packages to help introduce never-evers to the sport. During the month of January, Wolf Creek is offering a four-week Camp Robbers clinic for kids. For $231 ($264 for non-Season Pass holders) lift ticket, ski rental, four hours of instruction, lunch, and snacks are all included each week. Children will be grouped with the same children and instructor each week for the clinic. Not only will the kids improve on their skills, but also this class design will encourage socialization and friendship over the four-week span. Mountain safety, fun races, and a terrain garden are all featured in this program. For more information, visit
  • Estes Park, COJan 16, 2016 – Part of a two-day celebration of winter with many other events happening with clinics and igloo building.  This is a snowshoe only event. (It’s not just ski and snowboard month!)

Winter Ski Directory. We’re thrilled to launch the Colorado Family Ski/Ride Directory that focuses exclusively on families–from daily lift ticket prices to the cost of childcare to where to get the best deals….all in one convenient place so you can compare and contrast.


Email me if you know of any great Denver deals!

Nils Makes Me Feel Like A Million (Bucks)

I had never really believed before that the “clothes make the man…(ahem, woman)” I sort of just wore what was comfortable, what was functionable for whatever I was doing that day. That was until I had the opportunity to try Nils Skiwear.

I was sent a coat, jacket, base-layers, and these amazing sweaters. The coat is a brilliant green and purple that look like they are straight from a fine piece of jewelry. The coat is lightweight but, warm! The fur liner on the hood make me feel like I really belong in Vail or Aspen (she-she). And I don’t normally like to have people stare at me – but when I noticed people looking at me recently I realized it is because of the amazing coat and pants!

Pockets are a big deal to me as I don’t take anything else with me (no purse) so I shove many things in my pockets- from phone, to identification, to money, to my pass, to lip balm and snacks. There is an inside pocket that is plenty big enough to fit my phone – and a few other things. I love the pleats and pockets along the hips. The zips are hidden so well you can’t really tell they are there. But for style you can unzip/zip pleats to allow the coat to flare out at the bottom – below the belt. The belt just looks like a belt. Very fashion forward – without me having to deal with an actual belt and more to buckle and zip. slider-jackets

What they can’t see when they are staring at me is the warm base layers. The layers are lightweight and soft. They keep me toasty warm and look great too. I was sent the turtle neck as well as a crew neck. The black color (and one of the baselayers is cool with a white and black designs on it) is easy to wear under anything -even if it is not just my new ski gear.

But I really live in the Sophia sweaters! These sweaters are so comfortable – I have a hard time taking them off at the end of the day.

What You Need If You Are New To Skiing and Snowboarding

I am a relative newbie to snowboarding. While I’m a really outgoing and don’t mind asking a kajillion questions – I know that skiing and snowboarding can be overwhelming and at times seem a bit elitist in that it is hard to jump in and get the information you need to get started. I recently went to SIA (Snowsports Industry Association) tradeshow in Denver. I visited several ski and snowboard apparel manufacturers what was the most important thing that I should spend money on when it comes to skiing and snowboard equipment. Here are what some of their answers were – and some of my personal opinions interjected.

  1. Get A Lesson. Overwhelmingly, most people I asked said spend your money getting a lesson. Get started by someone who knows what they are doing. This also will help eliminate injury and a good instructor will also teach you the “rules of the mountain.”
  2. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask.Don’t be intimidated by all the people who seemingly know what they’re doing. They may know now – but that has not always been the case – they started as a newbie too. It’s OK to have to stop and ask directions or to ask how to get out of your snowboard binding or back on your ski after you fell out of the binding. Believe it or not, most snowsports enthusiasts don’t really want to seem elitist and they are usually more than happy to “talk shop” with you telling you their opinions and simply wanting you to try the sport they adore.
  3. Don’t Buy The Most Expensive Equipment. Get the hang of the sport first. Rent equipment. When you rent from a reputable location they will outfit you with the correct size for your height/weight/skill level and what type of skiing/boarding you want to do. Seriously, I’m cheap! The reality is that there are other things that you should spend your money on first – like lessons and lift tickets. One of the reasons that snow sports seem so elitist is that the equipment can be very expensive. So take it easy. Don’t buy everything at once. Get the essentials and build from there.
  4. Do Invest Some Money In Certain Items. While the hard equipment like the ski boots, skis, poles, snowboard, snowboard boots, and bindings can be rented. There are some items that you should invest some of your money in. These include: Socks – if you have well fitting warm socks it will make your day more enjoyable – you just need 1 good pair of wool socks cotton will get sopping wet and more than one pair will just fit weird; Gloves – make sure that you have gloves that will keep your fingers warm,  Base-layer – base-layer is the fancy term for long-johns. Your base-layer is what is directly against your body. You want to make sure that you get something that is going to keep you warm (meaning no cotton – because cotton just soaks up the wetness of the snow) but also feel comfortable as those YOGA pants you wear around – oh wait, maybe that is just me;   and get or borrow a snow coat and snow pants.
  5. A Few Other Tips. There are a few tips that I picked up as I was learning…you shouldn’t wear jeans under your snow pants. I know sounds sort of weird but really all you will need under you snow pants are a base-layer (aka long-johns). The first time I went I wore jeans. They limit your movement and actually make you colder (since they are cotton based).

I’m sure that everyone has their own opinions. These are mine based on the fact that I’ve only really been doing this for three years. In a future post I will post a must have, nice to have and cool extras list. Because there really is some great stuff out there – but if you’re just getting started – understanding what you really need and what you should spend your money on is important. I know that I didn’t just hit the lotto or rob a bank so that I could snowboard and get my kids on the hill too!